Wow – Have we really “Got our Arsenal back” at last?

‘We got our Arsenal back!!!’ chanted the travelling fans at full time at Craven Cottage. by Dan Smith

To put into perspective what they had just witnessed, their Arsenal players in October have now won the same amount of away fixtures they did in the whole of the last campaign.

Of the 9 consecutive victories we have now chalked up, this is easily the most impressive of performances. The majority of the other 8 we won were not great and could have gone either way. Don’t read that as criticism but a compliment. Winning when not playing well is the mentality Arsene Wenger could not find in his last two years. Seeing us able to scrap, scrape and fight for three points is the clearest difference Unai Emery has brought in. The Spaniard has put strong benches out in cup ties, started Ramsey even with his contract being allowed to expire, even today he brought on Rambo and Auba when we were winning, not completely wanting them to have a rest.

On Thursday, 3-0 in Azerbaijan, a weakened team more then doing enough, he told Lacazette and Ozil to warm up. The only reason to do that is to keep everyone on their toes, ensuring no one gets into the comfort zone. Those little decisions all paid off at Fulham.

Don’t get me wrong, no gooner should get carried away. You could summarise our start as we lost the matches we should have lost and we won the ones we were favourites to win. Liverpool is our next proper test where we will see if this group can take that extra step.

Yet this didn’t happen 12 months ago. Opposition knew we didn’t cope well with adversity, heads would drop the moment we didn’t get our own way. 12 months ago, if our opposition at their own ground equalised on the stroke of half time our response wouldn’t have been four goals!

It’s why I predicted we would lose this weekend. Fed the football I have been the last 24 months, it’s hard not to think the day is never far away when we don’t show up.

The most pleasing aspect of the 5-1 rout was the 4th goal. Somewhere a certain Frenchmen will have a smile on his face, knowing his replacement shares his same footballing philosophy.

Most of all I’m delighted for all travelling gunners, renowned for showing up around the country in their numbers. In 2018, going up and down the road hasn’t been easy, yet their loyalty never wavers.

At least for now, we have our Arsenal back !!!

Dare to dream?

Dan Smith


  1. Sue says:

    I think we can dare to dream…. everything is gelling nicely…. 2 points off the top, after being written off..

    1. Kenyanfan says:

      That Ramsey goals shows the understanding between Mikhi and Auba.look at how he layed that ball for Auba..Auba knew where the ball would be passed.Great chemistry there

      1. Sue says:

        It was beautiful!!!

    2. Pat says:

      Sue how about iwobi ???? any love yet? ?

      1. Sue says:

        Just for you Pat…. he has really improved! That was some team performance today, everyone played their part… even Iwobi!! ???

    3. Blago says:

      Good game. Getting there but still work to be done especially in defence and closing down space and unnecessary misplacements of passes.

  2. gotanidea says:

    The 4-4-2 that was mixed with 4-4-1-1/ 4-2-3-1 and interchanging attacker positions worked wonders, because Emery and his assistant were constantly barking and organizing the front men. His involvement in the field is much more active and hands-on, as compared to Wenger’s actions at the dugout

    Ramsey’s beautiful goal and assist to Aubameyang might remind some of us of the old Arsenal, but they were created after Lacazette’s goals crack-opened Fulham’s defensive stance. Big applause for Ramsey though, because his world class goal and through-ball assist are the ones that we should expect from a world class no 10

    I believe Emery could improve Arsenal further, as long as the supporters support his ruthlessness to the underperforming stars. He has been proving that motivation, guts, pressing and energy are more important than waiting for a perfect pass

  3. LENOhappy says:

    If only arsenal can spend money on a proper right back,we would be unstoppable,though some may have different opinions but I still don’t rate bellerin as a defender,I hope that almiron guy is as good as our American arsenal fans says,then he should probably replace not only Ramsey but also ozil,I think with. Proper no10,who can work as hard as David Silva,and proper right back we will be unstoppable

    1. gotanidea says:

      I think the Fulham match showed that Arsenal can exclude the no 10 in a tough away game

      I’d prefer to see a dynamic 4-4-2 like that, because Fulham’s defenders could not easily mark our attackers

      Had Arsenal used a no 10 that was sluggish and stuck in his position, Fulham’s DM would easily bully him and break Arsenal’s flow

      1. Pauladonis says:

        Yeah, I remember someone said ozil should only be played at home games to placate his fanboys… Seems Emery thinks so too, or maybe he was out with a back problem. Anyway, it shows we CAN create chances and score beautiful goals WITHOUT ozil.

    2. Durand says:

      Almiron is the real deal my fried. 12 goals and 13 assists in 26 games says something. Inferior league, but those number show how crucial, creative, and involved he is.

      His Atlanta Utd teammates say he never stops running, and always fighting to win the ball. They say his pressing and defending is big reason they win balls back.

      Sound familiar? Sound like a type of player Emery likes? I’m telling you this guy is money. That type of work ethic and talent WILL translate to premier league.

      ALMIRON hopefully thrilling Emirates fans for the next several years. His father even commented on Arsenal’s interest, and top executive at Atlanta Utd said Almiron is off to England in January. Hoping it’s Arsenal

    3. jon fox says:

      Total agreement on Bellerin as a non defender. But he is worth trying as right winger, as his pace is excellent and his crossing is much better. He has never been any good at all when defending, even when he is actually there, rather than way upfield out of position. If Emery does not want him on the wing it is pointless keeping him at the club at all. He simply is not and never will be a defender.

      1. Andrew E says:

        You’re spot on!!

        1. ozziegunner says:

          jon and Andrew, I agree; however Bellerin, in my opinion, had one of his best games today, in both attack and defense.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Ozziegunner, His crossing of the ball has also improved 100% and that pass to Ramsey was just incredible and was the catalyst for the nearly perfect team goal.
            Perhaps Lichsteiner is already beginning to install the defensive side of things to this tremendous prospect?
            In my opinion we should let Emery and his team work on the squad for a full twelve months before making judgements on any player…and that includes Mustafi who I personally gave up on two years ago.
            It seems Emery is proving me wrong yet again, as I believed Ramsey should have been nowhere near the game, but the flick for the goal anf his teammates celebrations with him, showed me that they, at least, still want him at the club.

    4. aubamezzette says:

      I think we need that natural winger more.. just look at the creativity n beauty in our play when Iwobi (the closest we have to a proper winger) plays.
      imagine one or two of Martial,Coman,Zaha,Pulisic, Lozano, Bailey added.

  4. Uzi Ozil says:

    I was delighted when Mahrez missed the penalty. Glad it ended in a draw. We are two points off the top three teams in the table. We are currently in fourth.

    I doubt we will win the league but top four is visible. Let’s just do our business quietly as we improve and stay close to the top three on the table.

    1. aubamezzette says:

      Dare to dream.. we 2points off the top with a home game against Leicester next.. just have to keep Vardy in check.
      Chelsea host Utd next.. where I xpect Mourinho to set up a defensive play n it could end in another draw..
      we not facing any top6 till November , then it ll be Liverpool at Emirates but Koscielny ll be back as well.
      also if the team keeps improving n Emery finally gets d best outta Ozil ,who knows…

  5. ken1945 says:

    For me, the most striking thing was the way the players celebrated together after the match.
    I could see the team spirit oozing out from every single player and as Dan says, this was missing so many times during the last two seasons.

    I love the actions / reactions of Emery and the team on the sidelines as well.
    Actually saw Bouldy stop chewing, jumping up from his seat and clapping the boys!!

    In my opinion, every single player out there contributed in a positive way and how great it looks to be back in that top four position we so proudly held, especially with the spuds once again looking up at us!!

    I remember saying that finishing sixth meant that this squad of players were not the dross some said they were. Emery has done with them what should have happened for so long, installed belief in those players and, along with Sven, brought in players who compliment and improve those that needed to do just that.

    At last, so called “experts” like michael owen, had to give our club the credit it deserves,and Keown was gushing with admiration for Emery’s contribution as well.
    I might just break a promise I made to myself and listen to what Adrian Durham has to say tomorrow, that WILL be interesting!!

    Have we got our Arsenal back? You bet we have….and a VERY special mention to our away fans today.
    MAGNIFICIENT, just like the players, touchline staff, result and the man of the moment Unai Emery….Living on cloud nine at the moment:

    1. jon fox says:

      Ken, One of the major differences under Emery is the very obvious team spirit and joy when we score. On one goal all ten outfield players were in the celebrations, which is very telling. Trust you to notice this and point it out. Don’t, though, punish yourself by listening to that dreadful ego on legs, Adrian Durham! I am truly starting to believe we may finish in top four, above Spuds and Man Divided. The longer Maureen stays there the better.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Jon, you know my views on Emery by now and we will debate together in a much less confrontational manner over this season than previously, as I also know yours.
        I said in an earlier topic how it amazes me that we all watch the same game and see or miss different incidents.
        Or, of course, see the incident in a different way.
        One of the things I have discovered on here is so many gooners evaluate these incidents in much more detail than I do, which is great for discussion purposes.
        Overall, I never try and name man of the match, or castigate individual players etc, but look more at those examples I mentioned above.
        That’s where I notice the COMPLETE change in mindset under Emery.
        We really have a complete team now, in my opinion, from the backroom staff right through to the squad of players.

        I thought it spoke volumes when Ramsey scored and was engulfed by his teammates.
        Could there still be a twist in this saga I wonder?

        Durham? No, it’s too good an opportunity to hear him wriggle and eat humble pie.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          Hi Ken,
          On one of our past articles you asked whatever happened to Meadowlark Lemon. I was also curious so decided to Google him. He represented the Harlem Globetrotters for 27 years and after he retired he became a Christian Minister and died at the age of 83 years old in 2015. I also saw him when I was a youngster at the old Empire Pool at Wembley in the early 60s and you’re absolutely right Ken, fantastic entertainment, could do just about anything with a basketball.

          1. Pubgooner says:

            First time I saw Bouldy open his mouth to give answers to Emery. Otherwise his mouth keeps on chewing the damn gum. Emery in the middle of the game went up to Bouldy and was demanding some answers and moving his arms frantically as if he was angry. That is the time Bouldy started talking and giving him answers. In the wenger era he was like some cutout. The heat map of Emery was amazing he was up and down and demanding more always from his players. Amazing Guy, this Emery!

          2. ken1945 says:

            Kenny, thanks for doing the homework in the man, he was such a showman…doesn’t seem to be those type of individuals about these days does there?

            Pubgooner, this is what I meant about the whole playing staff being “energised”.
            Your so right about Bouldy being a paper cut out, the only thing that convinced me he was still in the land of the living, was the incessent chewing!!
            The other thing I find so refreshing about Emery is his total involvement in a demonstative way, that still oozes class.
            Compare him to Klopps outlandish antics (not criticising just comparing) and I believe you can tell who manages our great club.
            I wonder how many yards Emery covers during a game and how many pounds he loses!!!

  6. first two weeks of the campaign, we were six points shy from the leading pack,eight weeks now 2points shy from the leading,great improvement

    1. Nejl says:

      Guys let’s temper our excitement. There are 2 very different sets to this league. We have just beaten 6 of the average teams. Yes we have to get the 3 points which we have not done in the last but .. we have to bear top 6 teams also !
      Great win today though.. and that team goal started and finished by Ramsey ! Amazing!

  7. ks-gunner says:

    Due of us losing the grip in being a team worth of respect, i was very worried for future, but Emery gives us hope again, we are building a positive reputation, and the team plays with confidence again.

    See the diff in Iwobi. At times i thought its not him but his uncle. Very effective. As for Ramsey. He is going to miss scoring such goals in a diff team, that i do know.

    All what needs to be done is to look up for defenders and why not for a wing man who gives us the edge at times. Lazano can it be you? lol. The battle for the 4th place is going to be hard. Keep the good work up Emery and team.

  8. Robin Vanpayslip - talk to the hand cuz the face don't wanna know says:

    Early days but it was plain to see from the start that Emery has a style in mind and is going to stick to it. That, IMO, is the right thing to do but in the short term causes issues. However, picking up these early pointz against lesser teams has meant he can go about his transistion under the radar. I reckon we still have a few players not able to play his system so we should hopefully improve in the next 2 – 4 windows.

  9. Sue says:

    Nice shout out to Arsene, Dan Smith ?

  10. John Wick says:

    You know the whole damn media are anti Arsenal, man city and Liverpool getting praised for playing out a crap game and Chelsea getting praised for beating Southampton and that poor excuse for a footballer Danny ings not a mention on Arsenal being 2 points off the top for a team supposedly in a mess but let them write us off cos we’re flying ? the media want city or Chelsea to win the title followed by Liverpool and then spurs and utd to challenge for top 4… That idiot Dennis wise said it’ll be a fight between utd and spurs for 4th place haha yeah utd look menacing ?

    1. John Wick says:

      Also making excuses for Liverpool flying back from Italy they had a short flight and played later in the day than us! We were bloody in the middle of nowhere and kicked off at 12 and again not a mention about that!

      1. Sue says:

        It makes you sick John! I’m just waiting for MOTD2 to hear what the pundits say…. Chappers & Jermaine Jenas… bet they still find something to whinge about, then praise United & the spuds!!

    2. Sue says:

      Very menacing, especially with Sanchez & Lukaku ????

      1. John Wick says:

        Oh they’ll pick holes in our performance Sue probably say we conceded a goal top teams don’t concede goals ? I don’t watch motd can’t stand those 2 bald miser’s, negative grumpy old men! Haha They’ll probably say Sanchez is back on form again and ready to tear the premier League up ?

        1. Sue says:

          Only pundits I like on there are Wright & Keown (I wonder why ?)
          Haha yes I reckon you’re right, that’s exactly what they’ll say!
          It’ll break their hearts having to admit that we were awesome today! Watch this space.. ?

          1. John Wick says:

            Keown is a proper pundit just tells it like it is and is an all round nice guy ? most of them are just anti Arsenal so I take an instant dislike to them lol.. hopefully we smash Liverpool in a few weeks then they will be forced to change their tune and just to see that smug smile wiped off Owens face ?

          2. Andrew E says:

            Can’t stand Owen and Shearer but Jenas seems to be quite even handed.

          3. Sue says:

            Shearer admitted we were brilliant ?

          4. CSKA London says:

            Owen is the worst thing that happened to punditing. I don’t know if he has a trainers’ badge. If he does, I so hope he gets a managing call from Guangzhou and buggers off the telly for once.

    3. aubamezzette says:

      the way I see it, its good that the pundits are not praising Arsenal, in fact its better that they criticise us n point out the lapses..
      we are still a work in progress n cnt let the wins get into our heads, d players especially.
      …the next game is a new adventure that has nothing to do with the last game.
      we also have to keep improving…
      … when we keep doing these n sit 10points at the top of the log with 20+ games won in a row. lets see who them pundits ll wank about.

    4. Gily says:

      Hi Jon Fox.
      I’ve been wondering why all the hatred against arsenal. Hasn’t anybody noticed. The referees too seem to be in a conspiracy against Arsenal in most of the matches. They make calls on soft touches in favor of opponents and wave play on when fouls should favor arsenal. They wait for our players’ leg to be broken before they make a call or give yellow cards. If any body is going to write article or give a background of how all this hatred came about, I’ll be very grateful.

  11. ThirdManJW says:

    Arsenal look so much better when they’re not carrying anyone.

    1. Greg says:

      Absolutely right, ThirdMan. Living in Bolivia, I have seen few games this season and hardly recognised us. Many years since I’ve seen such running to get into defensive shape and so many tackles going in, while nothing lost from the attacking flair and more incisive forward passes than in the last few seasons. Great team spirit and so many players on top of their game. COYG!!

  12. LENOhappy says:

    To be honest @Durand,I will take any midfielder as long as it’s not a particular Ramsey or ozil,I just wish the rumors about this your guy is true,if he live up to expectations,we may as well have our own harzad or even better our own Messi,hahahah

  13. John Ibrahim says:

    top 4 is a guarantee with a squad like us….

    the gap between the big 6 and the rest is huge

    to win the league we need consistency

  14. LENOhappy says:

    My friend John Ibrahim,nothing in life is guarantee,you have to work for everything my friend

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      exactly, clubs like psg, city they work real hard for their money

      1. ozziegunner says:

        That’s one of the big differences this year; Emery and his assistants working the squad so hard on the training field, has built team spirit and belief to run to the end.
        In this game Lacazette, Iwobi and Welbeck ran their socks off pressing from the start. To be able to bring on fresh players like Aubameyang, Ramsey and Guendouzi was a real positive to build on the hard work in the first half.

  15. inkfight! says:

    Another positive, while he might not be as good as Cech overall, Leno seems to suit Emery’s instructions better. Much more decisive with the ball at his feet and this seems to make the defenders in front of him look better as well.

  16. Chabaloah says:

    Solid performance from us and I was very happy by the end of the game.
    Something I noticed was the change at half time, Emery organised the midfield and Torreira began pushing further forward to intercept their balls, Lacazette came deep to become the extra man in midfield to make this possible.

    I liked Ramsey’s goal and assist, now do I think he needs a contract extension? I can’t say really, I don’t want to get carried away on our performance and I would like to see this consistency before passing judgement. However I will say if we can do this more often then I don’t see why not. I don’t think he started on the bench for any reason other than Emery trying different selections and formations, I think he is a little like Benitez in the sense of constant rotation and changing formations. Everyone will play but he needs you to not be offended if you start on the bench.

    Xhaka I found despite some misplaced passes – which happens when you play that role, he had a better second half overall like everyone else and I think that is because of emery’s instruction. I think Xhaka needs this to focus himself in the midfield and calm himself, know his role and his purpose, he made a lot less long range passes and cleaned up, intercepted, held himself and allowed torreira to have more of a free role – it did not seem that way but Torreira played a much more box-box role than Xhaka and it worked brilliantly.

    Onwards and upwards

  17. Goonerboi says:

    Lads did well but Emery is just pure genius, with his tactics, subs and style. He’s definitely the reason for this cohesion and run. I can’t help but think the main reason for this purple patch is the lack of media attention we’ve received since Arsenes departure. One only has to look as far as United and Spuds to realise how much the media pressure really affects footballers. Look at United those guys can’t string passes together because of nervousness. Spuds lack of spending is also reinherented by every commentator, every match they play. You could tell how big of a deal it was today when Klopp tried to direct attention to us at his post match press conference. I think if we win vs palace and Leicester. All eyes will be on us vs Liverpool and we can truly see whether this team is mentally capable of going all the way or close. Till then I’m enjoying the revival of the St Totteringham tradition


    1. Hey, that’s what she said!

          1. Goonerboi says:


  18. Goonster says:

    We have been playing lucky football all season. Not a single match this season have i felt we were in control. This is maybe the first game we felt in control.

    So i am waiting until we play some other top 6 teams again. Then I will conclude if we have progressed.

    But i am happy we are winning even if not playing that convincingly.

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